Some random thoughts from abroad.
Tattoos are fashionable in Germany, especially with young women.
The young dropouts of society, who apparently have decided the best way to spend one's days is with a German Shepherd and begging are likely to have so chopped and died their hair (startlingly purply pink is popular) they are unemployable except at places where hair is chopped and died purply pink.
Young men can be as unattractive, boorish, and aggressive as young Aussie men.
The train and bus systems (and sometimes tram) in Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany work very well with quality interchanges assisting in the transfer of passengers.
(Jenny, Quelle is still operating, though I have seen only one store.)
Fewer Germans smoke than Fr and Sp. Advertising is still allowed. However the companies know the squeeze is on so the latest is for them to advertise something else, but using their logo. For example, Camel advertise matches and talk about light and vision. Another mob is advertising their pack with comfortable edges (I kid you not) and have generously reduced the number of cigs in a pack to 19, for only 3.60€.
Twice today I have used the Internet in a Gaming House like a Pokies in Oz. Peple are just as brainless and zombified here. There is an attractive mid-thirties woman near me who for a while was playing two machines at once but is now just rivetted on the one. She is placing a bet every couple of seconds.
Billabong remains the most obvious Aussie label here for anything. I saw a young man struggling to carry a Fosters can today. Actually it was a keg decorated as a Fosters can. I felt such National Pride. Not only a powerful drink, you need to be powerful to carry it.
Herr Ohm who gave us that Omega symbol for the electrical concept (ohms, watts and volts are the three - but don't ask me to describe them) was born in Erlangen. Siemens began here and it is the largest employer by far. A whole street is lined with their buildings.
The new fashion colours for summer here include white, a pinky red, and limish green. (I know you are busting to thank me for this.)
Gambling woman has just won some hundreds of €. She is now working the other machine. Her expression altered not a whit at her great good fortune.
It's 9:50 and time I went.
God bless you all.